Barring something crazy happening, the Mavericks will have a high lottery pick for the second straight year. Dallas selected Dennis Smith Jr. with the No. 9 pick in last year’s draft and should get another talented prospect to pair with him in this draft.
If the Mavs continue at this pace, they should have a top five pick. Check out where the Mavs stand in the lottery race right here.
Here’s a breakdown of where draft experts think the Mavs will pick in this year’s draft and who they might select.
Luka Doncic, G/F, Real Madrid
The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre, No. 3 overall pick (March 8): “The hype machine will be in overdrive for months ahead of the draft, and it wouldn’t shock me if Doncic went 1st overall. The Mavericks have an awful roster, among the worst in the league. They’ll be right back here next year barring something lucky in free agency, but Doncic will contend for ROY and be the best scorer on the team.”
Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman, No. 1 overall pick (Feb. 9): “NBA executives continue to fly out to Spain for more looks at Luka Doncic, who’s remained steady, productive and right in the mix for the No. 1 pick.”
“The Dallas Mavericks have been keeping tabs on Euroleague’s leader in player efficiency rating. Though he’s only 18 years old and is playing against tougher competition compared to the NCAA, Doncic has been as consistently effective as any top college prospect.”
“Over Real Madrid’s last five games, he’s averaging 16.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.6 assists in just 24.1 minutes.”
“A 6’8″ playmaker with three-point range and unique basketball IQ, Doncic would complement Dennis Smith Jr. with size, shooting and setup-passing skills.”
The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie, No. 2 overall pick (Feb. 12): “It’s tough to overstate what Luka Doncic is doing this season in the EuroLeague — a much stronger competition than the NCAA. Doncic’s 26.9 PER leads the competition, his 17.9 points per game are second, 1.2 steals are eighth, 4.5 assists are 10th and 5.2 rebounds 20th among all players. Those accomplishments — for a team that is fifth in the standings and second in point differential — are unprecedented at that level of competition. In Dallas, there would be some fit issues with Dennis Smith, as both act best as lead ball-handlers. But there’s no reason not to trust Rick Carlisle to get the most out of a tremendous talent like Doncic.”
Marvin Bagley III, F, Duke
Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo, No. 4 overall pick (Feb. 12): “After hitting on Dennis Smith last year, Dallas will be well-positioned to complement him atop the draft. Bagley’s long-term potential and high-energy rebounding makes him a nice fit, and he could potentially spend time at center with Harrison Barnes at the four in smaller lineups. His production has tailed off a tiny bit in concert with Duke’s mid-season doldrums, and there are some questions about his positional fit, particularly tied to his defensive issues. That said, he’s still at an early stage of his development and couples appealing physical tools with elite college production. With shooting around him and more space to operate inside, he’ll be better positioned to utilize his mismatch. Bagley may not be as prepared for the NBA as some expected coming into the season, but as he learns and adapts in the years to come, he could become a dangerous, dynamic player.”
Fan Rag Sports’ Daniel O’Brien, No. 5 overall pick (March 2): “The Mavericks will likely choose between Bagley and Michael Porter Jr. at this juncture. If Duke’s big fella finishes the season strong, he’ll make a convincing case to land in the top five. He’d be a thrilling offensive weapon to pair with promising guard Dennis Smith Jr.
“Bagley will undoubtedly be a rim-crushing asset in the NBA. Few college standouts have ever displayed comparable above-the-rim acrobatics. He also has the horizontal agility to play away from the hoop on offense and defense. But there are some holes in his game that need to be addressed. Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman noted that Bagley is shooting just 32.1 percent on all jump shots, and his block percentage is just 3.0.”
O’Brien’s previous selection: Texas C Mohamed Bamba at No. 3.
NBADraft.net, No. 3 overall pick (March 8)
NBADraft.net’s previous selection: Missouri F Michael Porter Jr. at No. 3.
Mohamed Bamba, C, Texas
UPROXX’s Brad Rowland, No. 7 overall pick (March 12): “Bamba is the final player in my top tier and the Mavs may get a steal here. Injuries (and a mediocre Texas team) have kept Bamba out of the national spotlight but his absurd length draws comparisons to Rudy Gobert in terms of defensive ceiling and he isn’t a stiff on the other end either.”
Sporting News’ Chris Stone, No. 5 overall pick (Feb. 13): “With a 7-9 wingspan, Bamba has the physical tools to one day be the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year. He averages 5.4 blocks per 40 minutes for Texas and deters a significant number of shots around the rim for the nation’s fifth-ranked defense. There are some questions about his focus and intensity, but none about the ability.”
“On the offensive end, Bamba could help the Mavericks establish a formidable pick-and-roll attack alongside Dennis Smith Jr. The Texas freshman has an impressive catch radius and would force help defenders to make difficult decisions as he crashes towards the rim. He’s even flashed a bit of shooting range with a slow-loading jumper.”
The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks, Kevin O’Connor and Danny Chau, No. 5 overall pick (March 2): “This is a conspiracy. Tjarks clearly selected Jackson with the fourth pick just so Bamba could fall to his hometown team. As an athletic lob threat and rim protector with a 9-foot-6 standing reach, Bamba is a perfect fit for Rick Carlisle’s offensive system. Dennis Smith repeatedly running high pick-and-rolls with Bamba would be pretty freaking invigorating. If Bamba’s perimeter shot translates, he could end up the best player in the draft.”
Michael Porter, F, Missouri
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, No. 7 overall pick (March 12): “Porter’s stock has dropped this season. Spinal surgery set him back, and teams have also come away from background checks questioning his commitment to winning and ability to fit into team schemes.”
Givony’s previous selection: Duke C Wendell Carter at No. 8
SB Nation’s Ricky O’Donnell, No. 5 overall pick (Jan. 10): “Porter has been sidelined with a back injury the entire year at Mizzou, but NBA teams are very familiar with his game. Porter was arguably the top recruit in the country entering the season, a reputation he built by starring on big stages for USA Basketball and at the McDonald’s All-American Game and Nike Hoop Summit.”
Jaren Jackson Jr., F, Michigan State
CBS Sports’ Reid Forgrave (March 5): “You could point out that in a ceiling draft, Jackson could be a whole lot higher than eighth — and you wouldn’t be wrong. The athletic near-seven-footer is one of the best shot-blockers in college basketball, and is shooting a remarkable 41.6 percent from 3-point shots. He just looks good on a basketball court — a smooth athlete and a well-apportioned body.”
Forgrave’s previous selection: Alabama PG Collin Sexton at No. 7.
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